Sprinkle yeast over very warm water in a large bowl. Stir until yeast dissolves. Leave to foam for about 10 minutes.
Add sugar, the 1/4 cup butter, and salt to hot milk and stir until sugar dissolves and butter is melted. Cool mixture to 105 to 115 degrees.
Add milk mixture to yeast and then mix in the egg. Beat in 4 cups of the flour, 1 cup at a time, to form a soft dough. Use some of the remaining 1/2 cup flour to dust a pastry cloth.
Knead the dough lightly for 5 minutes. Use remaining flour for flouring pastry cloth and your hands.
Place dough in a warm, buttered bowl; turn greased side up. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.
Punch dough down and knead 4 to 5 minutes on a lightly floured pastry cloth. The dough will be sticky but use as little flour as possible for flouring hands, otherwise, rolls will not be as feathery light as they should be.
With a large knife, cut dough ball into four (4) pieces. Cut each piece into four (4) more pieces OR simply pinch off small chunks of dough and roll into round balls about 1 3/4 inches in diameter. As you roll into balls, pull sides down and under to shape the roll. Place bottom side down in neat rows, not quite touching, in well-buttered 13 X 9 X 2-inch pan.
Cover rolls and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk; 30 – 45 minutes. When doubled in bulk, brush tops with melted butter and bake in 375 degrees F oven for 18 – 20 minutes or until nicely browned. My oven runs hot so I usually bake @ 325 so tops do not brown before rolls are done inside. Adjust your oven temp accordingly.
If desired, brush (or bathe!) rolls in more melted butter when they are hot. The butter will sizzle down sides and bottom of rolls for a buttery soft crust.
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